Greater Daytona could be spared worst of Dorian: Hurricane has shifted eastward, Volusia County officials say

Headline Surfer video / Shown above in the video is the most recent Volusia County Emergency Management Briefing on Hurricane Dorian on Saturday, Aug 31. from Daytona Beach with Jim Judge, director of county emergency management; George Recktenwald, county manager; and Joanne Magley, director of community information. Judge is shown in the photo speaking at the podium.

Florida Bracing for Hurricane Dorian / Daytona, Sanford, Orlando / Headline SurferBy HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Volusia County officials on Saturday were sounding optimistic about the prospect of Hurricane Dorian sparing this beachfront tourism county from an expected walloping.

County Manager George Recktenwald and Emergency Management Director Jim Judge provided updates on Hurricane Dorian’s movement and Volusia County’s preparations during a mid-Saturday news conference from the Emergency Management Operations Center in Daytona Beach.

“Dorian is still a very strong hurricane at 150 mph, with 8 mph forward speed,” Judge said. “The storm is projected to stay to the east of Volusia County, but we are by no means out of harm’s way.” 

Volusia County can expect 40 to 50 mph tropical storm force winds for eight to 12 hours or more on Tuesday and Wednesday, Judge said, citing the latest information from the National Hurricane Center.

The county could receive wind gusts of 55 to 60 mph and 4 to 8 inches of rain in most areas, Judge cautioned, adding, the shoreline and some low-lying areas could receive upwards of 10 to 12 inches of rain. 

“We still have three days before the storm makes its way up to our area,” Judge said. “There is a 100-mile error cone to the projected path, so it could move a little further east or west. We could get stronger winds than are currently forecast.”

Emergency Management staff under Judge's direction continues to monitor the storm’s progress and remains in close contact with the State Emergency Management Office, National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service regarding conditions in Volusia County.

Regardless of the apparent shift, Hurricane Dorian is still expected to have major impacts on the county, Recktenwald stressed.

“I need to reiterate that this is a slow-moving storm and it’s days away, so there is still a chance for it to switch paths," Recktenwald said. "Even 10 miles east or west can make a difference in conditions in Volusia County. I urge everyone to remain vigilant, continue to watch the forecasts, and keep your preparations in place."

Recktenwald added, "There is a 100-mile cone of uncertainty, so it could easily be right up against our coast. Either way, we’re going to have nasty weather on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

George Recktenwald on Hurrican Dorian and the Cone of Uncertainty / Headline SurferHurricane Dorian Cone Explainer / Headline Surfer InfographicVolusia County Manager George Recktenwald added, "There is a 100-mile cone of uncertainty, so it could easily be right up against our coast. Either way, we’re going to have nasty weather on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Updates on possible evacuations, shelters, beach access & library hours

Based on today’s forecast and the slowing approach of the storm, the county has made some adjustments to its preparations. They include:

• Mandatory evacuations may be ordered Monday, Sept. 2. This order will be for residents who live on the beachside and in low-lying areas and RV and mobile homes throughout Volusia County. 
• Shelters will open at 10 a.m. Monday. A list of shelters can be found at www.volusia.org/pin
• When shelters open, Votran will provide free transportation along regular service routes, as well as to shelters. 
• Beachfront parks and vehicle access ramps will remain open Sunday. Other county parks will be open Sunday and Monday. 
• Libraries will be open normal hours today (Sunday, Sept. 1). However, the libraries will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day. 
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.